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Columns

  • What events make your Top 10 list of the last decade?

    The first decade of the new millennium has come to an end, and it’s safe to say several events that occurred during the 2000s will definitely be printed in history books for years to come.

    When I think about the decade in rewind, my mind automatically thinks back to Sept. 11, 2001, and recalls the recent the election of President Barack Obama.

    Much like the Kennedy assination, 9/11 is an event that seemed to stop time, as everyone remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing at that time.

  • Theater is becoming a hot property in Brunswick

    Believe it or not, Brunswick County is turning into a real happening place for community theater.

    More than 25 years ago, a group of performance-minded ladies in the Southport/Oak Island area put together the first local theater group, The Brunswick Players. Led by longtime theater lover Stuart Callari, the group thrived for years and put on numerous plays at Hatch Auditorium at the N.C. Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell.

  • A leader, a champion for the community, Thompson served Brunswick County well

    I vividly remember the day I first met Randy Thompson. It was my first week at the Beacon. Fresh off the sports desk with no hard news experience, I hit the ground running from day one.

    The first week was a whirlwind—the county budget unveiled on day one, witnessing my first news story bleeding with the red ink of corrections on day two and a horrific fatal wreck on day three—that’s how it all began.

  • ‘Uniquely Brunswick County’ photo contest nets 173 entries

    To some, nothing says “Brunswick County” better than a view of the scenic Shallotte River.

    To another, the endless road and the intertwined trees found at Orton Plantation best describes the place we call home.

    After a call for everything “Uniquely Brunswick County,” The Brunswick Beacon received 173 entries in this year’s “Think Outside the Beach” photo contest.

    This was the second year for the photo contest, and the number of entries more than tripled last year’s submissions.

  • January can be first in more ways than one

    I’ve always dreaded January.

    In my book and new 2010 New Yorker desk diary, currently lying flat and blank like a cold deserted beach, January looks like a long month of Mondays.

    After a festive and fun weekend (i.e., this past Christmas), suddenly it’s back to work when January breezes, literally, over the calendar transom, flipping us into the unknown of a stark new year.

    Out with the holiday feasting, pumpkin pie and Norm’s hot buttered rum, in with the leftover celery, Slim-Fast and water.

  • See "Up!": one of the year's best movies

    The year 2009 was a great one for 3-D movies. Everything from “Coraline” to “A Christmas Carol” to “Avatar” gave viewers the option to see the movies in thrilling, just-like-you’re-there-vision, without the headaches of the old 1950s 3-D experiments.

    But instead of going for the thrill ride, I chose to see the beautiful animated film “Up!” in two dimensions.

  • All the merriness of a picture-perfect holiday greeting card

    A little blond-haired, blue-eyed boy standing with a border collie in front of the Christmas tree, both wearing reindeer antlers. He is smiling. She is wagging her tail.

    Hallmark probably has a Christmas card just like that on a shelf somewhere. It’s probably $3 or less. I could have gone got a few of those and been done with it.

    But I didn’t.

    Every year, I get Christmas cards from my friends with their pictures of their children, pets and families. They always look really nice, and I say, “Why can’t I do that?”

  • Christmas wishes for Congress: Read the Constitution (and the bills you pass)

    Ah, Christmastime. What a wonderful time of year. In our nation’s capital, a record snowfall has blanketed the city, creating a beautiful backdrop for a legislative disaster of epic proportions that is unfolding within the hallowed walls of the U.S. Capitol.

    In the spirit of the holidays, I thought I’d write a light-hearted tribute to the season, but then, around 1 a.m. Monday, the Senate secured its 60 votes needed to move forward with healthcare reform, derailing any hopes for jovial Christmas prose or sugarplum fairies to dance in my head.

  • New feature will highlight those who are changing people’s lives and the community

    Each year, The Brunswick Beacon highlights some of the community’s most interesting people in its annual 10 Most Interesting feature. Once a year, a single issue of the paper is devoted to telling the stories and featuring photos of those readers suggest are among the most interesting in Brunswick.

    This year, when we made a call for suggestions, we received more than we anticipated. With so many good suggestions, we wondered how we could do more than just feature 10 people this year.

  • Yogurt slurping, grave robbing and grotesque sweating: The year in bad commercials

    We all know TV commercials are easy targets for sarcastic comments and putdowns, especially today with all the direct marketing spots for “ShamWOW” and the like.

    For my first worst-of-the-year list, I’m going after commercials, but not the “But Wait! There’s More!” variety that are so bad they’re almost good.